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Good Time Girls: Of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush
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Good Time Girls: Of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  217 ratings  ·  37 reviews
""Good Time Girls" is an important and entertaining addition to gold rush literature. These women are as important a part of the Klondike story as Big Alex and Swiftwater Bill. After all, they too were gold diggers." - Pierre Berton

History has long ignored many of the earliest female pioneers of the Far North - the prostitutes and other "disreputable" women who joined the
Paperback, 351 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Whitecap Books (first published 1998)
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A nice find. "The Charm of Deshabille" - cover photo is fabulous and worth all the price of the book. I wonder who the photographer was? I also wonder about the nature of love. For example, could these women have loved each other, mustn't they have? as their clients tore into their bodies like ravenous children scurrying back into the womb. There is nothing worse than unrequited homosexual love. So the women who lived together had aborted child centered lives and had run off to make the money th ...more
Jeff Tucker
The history books tell us that Mrs. T.H. Canham was the first non-native woman to cross Chilkoot Pass into Yukon Territory, but she was actually the first “respectable” woman to make that trek and traveled with her husband in 1888. The first woman to make that dangerous passage was actually a well-known prostitute, “Dutch Kate” Wilson, traveling on her own, in 1887. The discovery of gold in the Klondike region of the Yukon, and later in Alaska, lured thousands of prospectors and adventurers to r ...more
Every time I travel somewhere,I make a point of reading about places I visit.This time around I happened to be in Alaska and in the heart of "last frontier" where "odds are good but goods are odd" I have found several cute little bookshops in Juneau.My favourite was bookshop called "Rainy Day Books" with cute little old lady inside and I liked the place & atmosphere & name of the shop so much that I returned again and again.

"Good Time Girls" is a excelent book about first wave of gold-m
Mar 24, 2010 Vicki rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vicki by: Marie Nentwich
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terrific read that was recommended to me while traveling through Alaska. Well researched, charming and honest. The author brings the taboo and hidden history of the "girls" to the forefront in a respectful and at times, humorous manner. Highly recommend - especially if you plan on traveling through Alaska and the Yukon (lots of interesting historical trivia).
Not quite what I expected and a little dry in parts for an anything but dry kind of history. I wouldn't necessarily buy this new if I knew what I know now -- but the pictures are truly the gems that bring it all together. Though it was somewhat dry for me in parts, it was only because of the absolute wealth of information. I do love how she gets into specific people and their lives and some chapters are interwoven from people you've met in other chapters. Neat-o for sure!
Michelle Wardhaugh
I found this a thoughtful history that showed a great deal of respect for its subject. The role of working women in pioneering this distant and formidable frontier was given its due, and a balanced view was given to both the depths and heights that the actions of these women showed. This book shows a collection of characters no less colorful than the more famous and infamous names of the Old West. There were a lot of illustrative photos that were a vital addition to the text, and I only wished t ...more
Liss Capello
Well, I wasn't sorry I decided not to buy this book and to borrow it from the library instead. Its strongest points are the little biographies and vignettes of individual women who worked as prostitutes in Alaska during the late 1800s - beyond this, it makes an effort to draw a comprehensive picture of how prostitution as an institution shaped the landscape of the society of Alaskan towns, both during the booms and moving forward into the 20th century, but it struggled some by getting bogged dow ...more
Engaging history, although a bit shallow: lots of people covered, without going very in-depth into most of their lives.
Sherry Wyeth
This book was a really enjoyable read, but I am partial to the Fairbanks area after living there for a few years.
The author tries very hard to condense a lot of information about a lot of women in a short space. That at times makes it a bit frustrating because you want more information about the people you are reading about.
This is a quick read, that I would think you would enjoy if you are interested in women and their role in Alaska's early history. That said it is a book about women who are
Picked up this book on a recommendation while doing the Seattle Underground tour and thought it would be something about Seattle. Actually it's about the "sporting girls" who pioneered in Alaska and Yukon during the late 1800s and the quasi-respect that the earned during the time. It was an interesting read, but far too many names to keep track of them all. You get the overall sense of what was going on during the Klondike gold rush and the gold rushes that followed in Nome and Fairbanks, and wh ...more
David Johnson
Apologies to the author Lael Morgan, but I could not finish Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush: A Secret History of the Far North.

I was expecting something full of entertaining stories, but the writing style was like an academic paper with copious notes and terse language.

It was not a page-turner for me. Eventually, I returned it to the library.

If you like your stories to be backed up with hard cold facts, and you have an appreciation for the lascivious facets of the US's final front
Joyce McCombs
A brilliant, behind the scenes look at a hidden part of Alaska's history. I was fascinated by the individual stories of "the girls" as well as the great descriptions of how society (and men!) treated them. The most amazing thing I learned was that there are very few photos that exist of the girls because it wasn't considered polite for them to pose in a studio, and most folks couldn't afford their own cameras. It tickled me to know some "married up" and became staunch foremothers of Fairbanks so ...more
Rosalie Durbin
Interesting history of Alaska.
Rachel Vryhof
Great book full of Gold rush history!
Essentially a series of vignettes of women who helped make Alaska what it is today. Many of these demimondaines had been part of the development of the west and just moved north to where the men were. As occurred elsewhere, a few married out of the line; others made investments elsewhere to support them selves; some were killed or committed suicide as a result of love lost. One could argue that Alaska, like Seattle was made a state, in part, by prostitutes.
This book had some very interesting parts when it would go into more detail about the people. Quite often, it would just mention a name and say how long they lived there and whether or not they married or had a boyfriend. I admit to skimming these sections as they really weren't informative at all. The ones where more info was available were much more interesting.
As others have said this book wasn't as exciting as I had hoped. There were a few personal stories that gave enlightenment in the lives of the women at the time but mostly the book is filled with statistics and an account of where people were moving to and from.
I did chuckle at the story of Grace Lowe and the deducting of wages.
Having grown up in Fairbanks, Alaska I have always been interested in Alaskan history especially the tough women who made the trek over the Chilkoot. Lael Morgan is a very talented writer and has done amazing research in Alaska. If you ever want a fun read about the early settling years must grab this one!
This interesting stuff and lots of it, but seems to be written to capture the research rather than make it compelling nonfiction pleasure reading. I rather would have liked more discussion, not just a bald report of who went where when and did what. Lots of girls; not so much a good time.
Kamloopy Book
Selected by Janet
M read this before I could get to it and shared quite a lot of it along the way, reading selected chapters and passages aloud here and there. Interesting content! But I felt that I heard the meat of it by proxy so I no longer plan to read it in its entirety.
It’s amazing how many women traveled that far north in the most unforgiving weather just to get their groove on. :)

Actually it was a good book that told a true story of some amazing women who were the first to cross the Arctic Circle.
This was such an interesting read. A great book for anyone who enjoys northern gold mining history. It was so much more than a book on the sex trade, it painted a picture of what life was like in the mining towns.
Powder River Rose
Very good read. Some gowns I intend to make will be based on those found in the book.
I really enjoyed this look into prostitution during the Gold Rush. It talks honestly about what these women did and also what the job was and what it wasn't. I recommend it.
Completely engrossing recounting of life during the Yukon gold rush. The focus is mainly on the working women of the time. Highly recommended
It was very dry. For a book about prostitution, I was looking for something more interesting, but it was very boring.
Wow, a very enlightening history of what many women endured to travel to Alaska seeking fortune and adventure.
I was hoping for a few more interesting stories. I was glad that I had not purchased this book.
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